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Publication numberUS20040247617 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/457,574
Publication dateDec 9, 2004
Filing dateJun 9, 2003
Priority dateJun 9, 2003
Also published asUS7335361
Publication number10457574, 457574, US 2004/0247617 A1, US 2004/247617 A1, US 20040247617 A1, US 20040247617A1, US 2004247617 A1, US 2004247617A1, US-A1-20040247617, US-A1-2004247617, US2004/0247617A1, US2004/247617A1, US20040247617 A1, US20040247617A1, US2004247617 A1, US2004247617A1
InventorsChao-Wei Liao, Chung-Nan Weng
Original AssigneeAnimal Technology Institute Taiwan
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fusion antigen used as vaccine
US 20040247617 A1
Abstract
The present invention mainly provides a fusion antigen specific for a target cell comprising a ligand moiety which is capable of reacting, recognizing or binding to the receptors on the target cell, a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II, an antigenic moiety, and a carboxyl terminal moiety which permits combination of the fusion antigen to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of the target cell. A method of immunizing an animal using the fusion antigen is also provided.
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Claims(42)
What is claimed is:
1. A fusion antigen specific for a target cell comprising:
an antigenic moiety;
a ligand moiety which is capable of reacting, recognizing or binding to a receptor on the target cell;
a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II; and
a carboxyl terminal moiety which permits retention of the fusion antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of the target cell.
2. The fusion antigen according to claim 1, wherein the target cell is an antigen presenting cell.
3. The fusion antigen according to claim 1, wherein the target cell is selected from the group consisting of T-cells, B-cells, dendritic cells, monocytes, and macrophages.
4. The fusion antigen according to claim 1, wherein the antigenic moiety is derived from porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Circovirus type II, or human immunodeficiency virus.
5. The fusion antigen according to claim 1, wherein the antigenic moiety is selected from the group consisting of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) ORF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
6. The fusion antigen according to claim 1, wherein the antigenic moiety comprises at least one antigenic unit and the adjacent antigenic unit is connected by a bridge region.
7. The fusion antigen according to claim 1, wherein the receptor to be bound to the ligand moiety is selected from the group consisting of antibody receptors, growth factor receptors, lymphokine receptors, cytokine receptors, and hormone receptors.
8. The fusion antigen according to claim 1, wherein the receptor to be bound to the ligand moiety is selected from the group consisting of TGFα receptors, IL2 receptors, IL4 receptors, IL6 receptors, IGF 1 receptors, CD4 receptors, IL18 receptors, IL 12 receptors, EGF receptors, LDL receptors and α2-macroglobulin receptors.
9. The fusion antigen according to claim 1, wherein the ligand moiety is a Pseudomonas exotoxin A binding domain I.
10. The fusion antigen according to claim 1, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises, in a direction from the amino terminus to the carboxyl terminus, the following amino acid residues:
R1-R2-R3-R4-(R5)n
Wherein,
R1 is a positively charged amino acid residue;
R2 is a negatively charged amino acid residue;
R3 is a negatively charged amino acid residue;
R4 is L;
R5 is a positively charged amino acid residue; and
n is 0 or 1.
11. The fusion antigen according to claim 1, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises a sequence of KDEL.
12. The fusion antigen according to claim 1, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises a sequence of KKDL-RDEL-KDEL.
13. A pharmaceutical composition comprising the fusion antigen according to claim 1 together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.
14. The pharmaceutical composition according to claim 13 is a T-cell vaccine.
15. A method of immunizing an animal comprising the steps of:
(a) providing a fusion antigen specific for a target cell comprising an antigenic moiety, a ligand moiety which is capable of reacting, recognizing or binding to a receptor on the target cell, a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II, and a carboxyl terminal moiety which permits retention of the fusion antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of the target cell; and
(b) inoculating the fusion antigen into the animal.
16. The method according to claim 15, wherein the target cell is an antigen presenting cell.
17. The method according to claim 15, wherein the antigenic moiety is derived from porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Circovirus type II, or human immunodeficiency virus.
18. The method according to claim 15, wherein the antigenic moiety is selected from the group consisting of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) ORF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
19. The method according to claim 15, wherein the antigenic moiety comprises at least one antigenic unit and the adjacent antigenic unit is connected by a bridge region.
20. The method according to claim 15, wherein the ligand moiety is a Pseudomonas exotoxin A binding domain I.
21. The method according to claim 15, wherein the receptor to be bound to the ligand moiety is selected from the group consisting of antibody receptors, growth factor receptors, lymphokine receptors, cytokine receptors, and hormone receptors.
22. The method according to claim 15, wherein the receptor to be bound to the ligand moiety is selected from the group consisting of TGFα receptors, IL2 receptors, IL4 receptors, IL6 receptors, IGF 1 receptors, CD4 receptors, IL18 receptors, IL 12 receptors, EGF receptors, LDL receptors and α2-macroglobulin receptors.
23. The method according to claim 15, wherein the target cell is selected from the group consisting of T cell, B cell, dendritic cell, monocyte, and macrophage.
24. The method according to claim 15, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises, in a direction from the amino terminus to the carboxyl terminus, the following amino acid residues:
R1-R2-R3-R4-(R5)n
Wherein,
R1 is a positively charged amino acid residue;
R2 is a negatively charged amino acid residue;
R3 is a negatively charged amino acid residue;
R4 is L;
R5 is a positively charged amino acid residue; and
n is 0 or 1.
25. The method according to claim 15, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises a sequence of KDEL.
26. The method according to claim 15, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises a sequence of KKDL-RDEL-KDEL.
27. A fusion porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) ORF 7 antigen comprising
a PRRSV ORF 7 moiety;
a Pseudomonas exotoxin A binding domain I;
a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II; and
a carboxyl terminal moiety which permits retention of the fusion antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of a target cell.
28. The fusion antigen according to claim 27, wherein the target cell is an antigen presenting cell.
29. The fusion antigen according to claim 27, wherein the target cell is selected from the group consisting of T cell, B cell, dendritic cell, monocyte, and macrophage.
30. The fusion antigen according to claim 27, wherein the antigenic moiety comprises at least one antigenic unit and the adjacent antigenic unit is connected by a bridge region.
31. The fusion antigen according to claim 27, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises, in a direction from the amino terminus to the carboxyl terminus, the following amino acid residues:
R1-R2-R3-R4-(R5)n
Wherein,
R1 is a positively charged amino acid residue;
R2 is a negatively charged amino acid residue;
R3 is a negatively charged amino acid residue;
R4 is L;
R5 is a positively charged amino acid residue; and
n is 0 or 1.
32. The fusion antigen according to claim 27, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises a sequence of KDEL.
33. The fusion antigen according to claim 27, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises a sequence of KKDL-RDEL-KDEL.
34. A pharmaceutical composition comprising the fusion antigen according to claim 27 together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.
35. The pharmaceutical composition according to claim 34 is a T-cell vaccine.
36. A method of immunizing an animal for the preventing porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), which comprises the steps of:
(a) providing a fusion antigen comprising a PRRSV ORF 7 antigen moiety, a Pseudomonas exotoxin A binding domain I, a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II, and a carboxyl terminal moiety which permits retention of the antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of a target cell; and
(b) inoculating the fusion antigen into the animal.
37. The method according to claim 36, wherein the target cell is an antigen presenting cell.
38. The method according to claim 36, wherein the target cell is selected from the group consisting of T-cells, B-cells, dendritic cells, monocytes, and macrophages.
39. The method according to claim 36, wherein the antigenic moiety comprises at least one antigenic unit and the adjacent antigenic unit is connected by a bridge region.
40. The method according to claim 36, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises, in a direction from the amino terminus to the carboxyl terminus, the following amino acid residues:
R1-R2-R3-R4-(R5)n
Wherein,
R1 is a positively charged amino acid residue;
R2 is a negatively charged amino acid residue;
R3 is a negatively charged amino acid residue;
R4 is L;
R5 is a positively charged amino acid residue; and
n is 0 or 1.
41. The method according to claim 36, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises a sequence of KDEL.
42. The method according to claim 36, wherein the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises a sequence of KKDL-RDEL-KDEL.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The invention mainly relates to a fusion antigen. More particularly, the invention mainly relates to a fusion antigen used as a T-cell vaccine.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] The mechanism of immunization in an animal comprises humoral immunity and cell-mediated immune response.

[0005] Humoral immunity mainly relates to the production of antibodies. Antibodies can provide protection from pathogens or their toxic products by binding to them and thereby blocking their access to cells that may be infected or destroyed. Antibodies can also trigger a phagocytic cell to ingest and destroy the pathogen, such as a bacterium. The third function of antibodies is to activate a system of plasma proteins, known as a complement, that can directly destroy bacteria.

[0006] Cell-mediated immune reactions depend on direct interactions between T-lymphocytes and cells bearing the antigen that T-cells recognize. These cells recognize body cells infected with viruses, which replicate inside cells using the synthetic machinery of the cell itself. Antigens derived in the replication of a virus, however,are present on the surface of infected cells (by MHC class I), where they are recognized by cytotoxic T-cells (CD8+ T-cells) and these may then control the infection by killing the cells before the replication of a virus is complete.

[0007] Vaccines for prophylaxis of viral infections are usually live attenuated organisms with reduced pathogenicity that would stimulate protective immunity. Foreign proteins of a live virus that is used as a live attenuated vaccine, are recognized and processed in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen of antigen presenting cells (APCs) when the virus replicates to form an endogenous processing peptide. The process includes antigen modification and proper digestion. However, a live attenuated vaccine has a quite strong tendency to recover toxicity. For example, the toxicity of infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV) recovers both in vaccine or attenuated strains. Besides, multiple passages of a virus should be operated; therefore, the ability to evoke an immune response is discredited. It is a time-consuming job to develop a live attenuated vaccine.

[0008] To prevent the recovery of a live attenuated vaccine, gene deficient vaccines are developed, such as Aujeszky's disease vaccines, gI negative vaccines, and PRV marker vaccines.

[0009] In another aspect, recombinant subunit vaccines and DNA vaccines are also disclosed. Viruses or bacteria of vaccina or fowlpox are used as vectors for carrying the genes of the antigens. Through recombinant DNA technology, the time for development of a good vaccine is reduced and multiple serotypes of vaccine can be achieved at the same time. Examples of such vaccines are fowlpoxvirus and Salmonella vector systems and Syntro Vet (US) gene recombinant vaccines. On the other hand, when a microorganism, especially an RNA virus, is used as a vector, the microorganism would derive a new species or a new strain. The safety of such vaccines is challenged. Besides, recombinant subunit vaccines are usually helpless in triggering a cell-mediated immune response. They are exogenous antigens, which are taken into macrophages, dendritic cells and B lymphocytes. Peptides from exogenous antigens are generated after the internalization of the antigens within APCs via fluid phase pinocytosis or membrane-bound receptors. The peptides are generated in the endosomal compartments of the APCs and sorted by empty MHC class II molecules to form peptide-MHC class II complexes based on the affinities between the MHC class II molecules and the peptides. The peptide-MHC class II complexes are then translocated to the surface of the APCs where they are recognized by CD4+ T-cells. However, small subunit proteins recognized by CD8+ T-cells cannot be used efficiently as vaccines because, once parenterally administered, they are internalized in endosomal compartments where they are likely to be either extensively degraded or fail to interact with the MHC class I pathway. Furthermore, CD4+ cells (Th cells) can both activate humoral immunity and cell-mediated immune response by Th1 and Th2 helper T-cells, respectively. Th1 and Th2 cells regulate each other for the balance of humoral immunity and cell-mediated immune response. Therefore, if only humoral antibodies will produce in all the immune responses, viral infection will be less controlled because of over sensitization of an immune system. Fortunately, it is now possible to envisage the preparation of safe T-cell vaccines able to induce protective cell-mediated immunity against all viruses (Constantin A. Bona, et al. 1998. Immunology today vol 19. 126-131).

[0010] Vaccines for virus-infecting immunological cells such as T-cell, B-cell, dendritic cell, monocyte, and macrophage still remain to be developed. Examples of such viruses are porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Circovirus type II, and human immunodeficiency virus. Such viruses shut down the ability of recognition of foreign proteins as antigens in the antigen presenting cells. The immunological cells cannot function and carry the viruses. This kind of infection usually leads to acute damage to the animal infected. The animals that have been infected are easily infected by other pathogens. A recent report shows that cytotoxic T-cells (CTLs) are essential for controlling HIV infection. (Hanne G-S et al 2000. Journal of virology vol 74, No. 4. p. 1694-1703). It is a pity that a useful vaccine for virus-infecting immunological cells is still lacking.

[0011] In particular, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) results in high losses in animal husbandry every year. The virus infects macrophages (in the alveolar and spleen), brain microglia and monocytes, and exists in the blood and organs of the infected animals. Antibodies have little effect on the virus and even stimulates mutations of the virus. In the mechanism of antibody dependent enhancement (ADE), the use of antibodies lead to more severe infections. About 50 to 80% of pigs are infected by such virus. Generally, the animals infected by the virus have no significant symptoms, but the immunity of the infected animals will be reduced. This leads to a decrease of weight gain and an increase in death rate. PRRSV is an RNA virus. Not only animals, but also ducks would be infected by PRRSV. A live attenuated vaccine against PRRSV was developed. However, mutation of the viruses in the live vaccine quite often occurs. To develop a safe vaccine is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] The present invention provides a fusion antigen which can be used as a T-cell vaccine, and preferably, as a T-cell vaccine against the virus-infecting immunological cells. The invention is characterized by the design of carboxyl terminal moiety of the fusion antigen.

[0013] One objective of the invention is to provide a fusion antigen specific for a target cell comprising an antigenic moiety, a ligand moiety which is capable of reacting, recognizing or binding to the receptors on the target cell, a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II, and a carboxyl terminal moiety which permits retention of the fusion antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of the target cell.

[0014] Another objective of the invention is to provide a pharmaceutical composition comprising the fusion antigen of the invention together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.

[0015] Still another objective of the invention is to provide a method of immunizing an animal comprising the steps of:

[0016] (a) providing a fusion antigen specific for a target cell comprising an antigenic moiety, a ligand moiety which is capable of reacting, recognizing or binding to a receptor on the target cell, a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II, and a carboxyl terminal moiety which permits retention of the fusion antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of the target cell; and

[0017] (b) inoculating the animal with the fusion antigen.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018]FIG. 1 illustrates the construction of PRRSV ORF 7 fusion antigen according to Example 1.

[0019]FIG. 2 illustrates the gene sequence of PRRSV ORF 7.

[0020]FIG. 3 illustrates the construction of PE-PRRS7-D in pET23a protein expression plasmid.

[0021]FIG. 4 illustrates the construction of pET23-3KDEL.

[0022]FIG. 5 illustrates the construction of PRRSV ORF 7 fusion antigen.

[0023]FIG. 6 illustrates the SDS-PAGE detection of protein purification and quantitative analysis for the sample of PE-DGD protein. The PE-DGD protein gene of a PE(ΔIII) and PRRSV ORF-7 chimeria in pET plasmid system is expressed in BL21(DE3)plys by IPTG induction. The SDS-PAGE maps of the total bacterial proteins are shown after the IPTG induction sample (Lane A) and the urea extraction sample (Lane B or Lane 4). One strong staining band located at 80 K Da is PE-DGD protein. Lanes 1, 2 and 3 are the samples of standard BSA protein loaded with the amounts of 1000 ng, 300 ng and 100 ng, respectively. Lanes 4, 5 and 6 are the samples of PE-DCD urea extraction protein with the amounts of 1 μL, 0.1 μL and 0.01 μL, respectively.

[0024]FIG. 7 illustrates the SDS-PAGE detection of protein purification and quantitative analysis for the sample of PE-DGDK protein. The PE-DCDK protein gene of a PE(ΔIII) and PRRSV ORF-7 chimeria in pET plasmid system is expressed in BL21(DE3)plys by IPTG induction. The SDS-PAGE maps of the total bacterial proteins are shown for the samples before (Lane A) and after IPTG induction (Lane B) and the urea extraction sample (Lane C or Lane 4). One strong staining band located at 80 K Da is PE-DGDK protein. Lanes 1, 2 and 3 are the samples of standard BSA protein loaded with the amounts of 1000 ng, 300 ng and 100 ng, respectively. Lanes 4, 5 and 6 are the samples of PE-DGDK urea extraction protein with the amounts of 1 μL, 0.1 μL and 0.01 μL, respectively.

[0025]FIG. 8 illustrates the detection limit of RT-PCR with BM-ORF7 primers in pig blood leukocyte sample. The total RNA of 100 μL pig blood leukocyte samples with 1 μL 3-fold serial dilution of PRRS virus (106 TCID50/ml) were respectively extracted. The PRRSV detection limit was determined by RT-PCR running with BM-ORF7 primers and 10/25 volume RNA template. The RT-PCR products of the spike samples containing approximately 300, 100, 30, 10, 3, 1 (TCID50/ml) of PRRS, were loaded as Lane 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, respectively, and running at 2% agarose gel in TBE buffer.

[0026]FIG. 9 illustrates the result of the real time PCR analysis of PRRSV by BM-primers.

[0027]FIG. 10 illustrates the result of the comparison of the detection limit of real-time PCR with tradition RT-PCR.

[0028]FIG. 11 illustrates the result of the detection of PRRSV by RT-PCR of five female pigs, wherein M represents the DNA marker and P represents the positive control.

[0029]FIG. 12 illustrates the result of the detection of PRRSV by RT-PCR before a challenge of 15 piglets, wherein M represents the DNA marker and P represents the positive control.

[0030]FIG. 13 illustrates the result of the detection of PRRSV by RT-PCR 3 days after the challenge of 15 piglets, wherein M represents the DNA marker and P represents the positive control.

[0031]FIG. 14 illustrates the result of the detection of PRRSV by RT-PCR 7 days after the challenge of 15 piglets, wherein M represents the DNA marker and P represents the positive control.

[0032]FIG. 15 illustrates the result of the detection of PRRSV by RT-PCR 14 days after the challenge of 15 piglets, wherein M represents the DNA marker and P represents the positive control.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0033] The invention provides a fusion antigen specific for a target cell comprising an antigenic moiety, a ligand moiety which is capable of reacting, recognizing or binding to a receptor on the target cell, a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II, and a carboxyl terminal moiety which permits retention of the fusion antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of the target cell.

[0034] As used herein, the term “fusion antigen” refers to a recombinant protein which can evoke an immune response in an animal. Preferably, the fusion antigen comprises epitopes for evoking an immune response directly and other portions for enhancing an immune response such as mediating delivery, transporting, processing, and expressing or for equipment of multiple functions.

[0035] Preferably, the target cell is an antigen presenting cell. More preferably, the target cell is selected from the group consisting of T-cells, B-cells, dendritic cells, monocytes, and macrophages.

[0036] As used herein, the term “an antigenic moiety” refers to a peptide fragment that can evoke an immune response. In one embodiment of the invention, the antigenic moiety is an epitope. According to the invention, the antigenic moiety is a protein of a pathogenic species, which can highly activate an immune response. Such proteins comprise, for example, but are not limited to, coat proteins, nucleoproteins or cell membrane proteins. The antigenic moiety can be a peptide cloned directly from the pathogenic species as well as a recombinant protein modified by artisans skilled in the field for enhancing the ability to evoke an immune response, for being manufactured more conveniently and for being delivered more easily. Preferably, the antigenic moiety is derived from porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), Circovirus type II, or human immunodeficiency virus. Preferably, the antigenic moiety may be PRRSV ORF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7. In one more preferred embodiment of the invention, the antigenic moiety is PRRSV ORF 7. For evoking a more severe immune response, the antigenic moiety comprises at least one antigenic unit and the adjacent antigenic unit is connected by a bridge region. According to the invention, the bridge region may be a small fragment of peptide that evokes little immune response to prevent the immune system from recognizing it.

[0037] As used herein, the term “ligand moiety” refers generally to all molecules which are capable of reacting, recognizing or binding to the receptor on a target cell. Examples of such receptors include, but are not limited to, antibody receptors, growth factor receptors, lymphokine receptors, cytokine receptors, hormone receptors and the like. In some embodiments of the invention, the receptor for binding to the ligand moiety is selected from the group consisting of TGFα receptors, IL2 receptors, IL4 receptors, IL6 receptors, IGF 1 receptors, CD4 receptors, IL18 receptors, IL 12 receptors, EGF receptors, LDL receptors and α2-macroglobulin receptors. The ligand moiety has an ability of binding to the cell membrane of the target cell for anchoring the fusion antigen to the target cell. The immune system is initiated by the fusion antigen's binding to the receptors on the target cell. Preferably, the ligand moiety is a Pseudomonas exotoxin A binding domain I. Pseudomonas exotoxin A (PE) is a single polypeptide chain of 613 amino acids. X-ray crystallographic studies and mutational analysis of the PE molecule show that PE consists of three domains: an amino terminal cell receptor binding domain (Domain I); a middle translocation domain (Domain II); and a carboxyl terminal activity domain (Domain III) (see U.S. Pat. No.: 5,705,163, which is incorporated into references).

[0038] As used herein, the term “Pseudomonas exotoxin A binding domain I” refers to a peptide fragment that has the same sequence as the amino terminal cell receptor binding domain of Pseudomonas exotoxin A or a functionally equivalent fragment. The amino terminal cell receptor binding domain of Pseudomonas exotoxin A comprises two sub-domains, designated as domain Ia and domain Ib. The configuration of domain Ia and domain Ib can bind to a LDL receptor or α2-macroglobulin receptor on a cell surface. As used herein, the term “Pseudomonas exotoxin A binding domain II” refers to a peptide fragment that has the same sequence as the middle translocation domain of Pseudomonas exotoxin A or a functionally equivalent fragment. The Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II has an ability to translocate the fusion antigen into the cytoplasm of the target cell. The fusion antigen is translocated into the target cell after attaching to the target cell membrane.

[0039] As used herein, the term “carboxyl terminal moiety which permits retention of the fusion antigen to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of a target cell” refers to a peptide fragment that enables the fusion antigen to bind to the ER membrane and to retain it in the ER lumen. In one embodiment of the invention, the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises, in a direction from the amino terminus to the carboxyl terminus, the following amino acid residues:

R1-R2-R3-R4-(R5)n

[0040] Wherein,

[0041] R1 is a positively charged amino acid residue;

[0042] R2 is a negatively charged amino acid residue;

[0043] R3 is a negatively charged amino acid residue;

[0044] R4 is L;

[0045] R5 is a positively charged amino acid residue; and

[0046] n is 0 or 1.

[0047] Preferably, the carboxyl terminal moiety is a member of the KDEL family protein. As used herein, the term “KDEL family protein” refers to a group of proteins, which has a similar carboxyl end binding to the ER membrane of a cell and further has an ability for retention of such protein in the ER lumen. Generally, the length of the carboxyl end ranges from 4 to 16 residues. As discussed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,705,163 (which is incorporated into the references), the amino residues at the carboxyl end of a KDEL family protein, particularly those in the last five amino acids, are important. As shown in the studies on the similar sequences present in different molecules and performing a specific biological function, a sequence that retains a newly formed protein within the endoplasmic reticulum is LysAspGluLeu. These findings suggest that the sequence at the carboxyl end of the fusion antigen according to the invention acts as some type of recognition sequence to assist translocation of the fusion antigen from an endocytic compartment into the ER and retains it in the lumen. In a preferred embodiment, the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises a sequence of KDEL. In a more preferred embodiment, the carboxyl terminal moiety comprises a sequence of KKDL-RDEL-KDEL.

[0048] The invention is characterized by the design of carboxyl terminal moiety, which enables the fusion antigen to be processed in the ER of the target cell for combining with MHC class I molecules and being recognized by T-cells. The fusion antigen according to the invention is useful in triggering cell-mediated immune reactions.

[0049] According to the invention, the fusion antigen is used for the immunization of animals. One objective of the invention is to provide a pharmaceutical composition comprising the fusion antigen of the invention together with a pharmaceutical acceptable carrier. Preferably, the pharmaceutical composition is a T-cell vaccine.

[0050] As used herein, the term “T-cell vaccine” refers to a vaccine that can protect a subject from infection by activating cell-mediated immune response. The crucial role of the T-cell vaccine is cytotoxic T-cell (also known as cytotoxic T lymphocyte, CD8+T-cell, and CTL) and memory T-cells (Tcm and Tem).

[0051] The present invention also provides a method of immunizing an animal comprising the steps of:

[0052] (a) providing a fusion antigen specific for a target cell comprising an antigenic moiety, a ligand moiety which is capable of reacting, recognizing or binding to a receptor on the target cell, a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II, and a carboxyl terminal moiety which permits retention of the fusion antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of the target cell; and

[0053] (b) inoculating the animal with the fusion antigen.

[0054] In the Step (b) of the method, the animals may be inoculated with the fusion antigen in any way known to artisans skilled in this field. For example, the fusion antigen may be delivered by injection or in a form of oral vaccine. Booster shots are optional, if necessary. Preferably, the inoculation is performed before infection. Newly born animals, even an embryo, may also be inoculated with the fusion antigen to produce better immunity.

[0055] According to the invention, the following actions occur during the process of the response to the immunization:

[0056] (c) the target cell membrane binds to the ligand moiety for anchoring the fusion antigen to the target cell;

[0057] (d) the fusion antigen is translocated into the cytoplasm of the target cell by the Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II;

[0058] (e) the ER membrane of the target cell binds to the carboxyl terminal moiety of the fusion antigen for retention of the fusion antigen in the ER lumen;

[0059] (f) the antigenic moiety is processed in the ER lumen;

[0060] (g) the processed antigenic moiety binds with a MHC class I molecule;

[0061] (h) the processed antigenic moiety is carried by the MHC Class I molecule to the target cell surface;

[0062] (i) the processed antigenic moiety carried by the MHC class I molecule by CD8+ T-cell is recognized to obtain an immune message; and

[0063] (j) the immune message is stored by memory T-cells for immunizing the animal.

[0064] In Action (c), the ligand moiety of the fusion antigen leads the fusion antigen to bind to the receptors on the target cell membrane for anchoring the fusion antigen to the target cell.

[0065] In Action (d), the fusion antigen is translocated into the cytoplasm of the target cell by the Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II. The translocation leads the fusion antigen to entry into the target cell.

[0066] In Action (e), the carboxyl terminal moiety of the fusion antigen binds to the ER membrane of the target cell for retention of the fusion antigen in the ER lumen for the process of the fusion antigen.

[0067] In Action (f), the antigenic moiety is processed in the ER lumen. The process includes, but is not limited to, antigen modification such as glycosilation and proper digestion by enzyme in the ER lumen.

[0068] In Action (g), the processed fusion antigen can bind to a MHC class I molecule. The MHC class I molecule itself is an uncompleted folding protein and binds to many chaperones. The processed fusion antigen binds to the peptide-binding cleft to complete folding and stimulates the release of the chaperones.

[0069] In Action (h), the processed antigenic moiety is presented to the target cell surface by the MHC class I molecule. The folded MHC class I and processed antigenic moiety is delivered to the cell surface.

[0070] In Action (i), the processed antigenic moiety carried by the MHC class I molecule was recognized by CD8+T-cell to obtain an immune message for the recognition of the cytotoxic T-cell and also for the storage an immune message into memory T-cells. Examples of the memory T-cells are Tcm and Tem cells.

[0071] In Action (j), the immune message is stored by memory T-cells for immunizing the animal. When the animal immunized with the fusion antigen is infected by the same antigen again, the memory T-cells evoke a stronger immune response in a shorter time. T-cell vaccine provides an endogenous processing antigen which can be processed in the ER lumen of the target cell.

[0072] The present also provides a fusion porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) ORF 7 antigen comprising a PRRSV ORF 7 moiety; a Pseudomonas exotoxin A binding domain I; a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II; and a carboxyl terminal moiety which permits retention of the fusion antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of a target cell.

[0073] A pharmaceutical composition comprising the fusion antigen of the invention together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier is also provided.

[0074] Another aspect of the invention is to provide a method of immunizing an animal for the prevention of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), which comprises the steps of:

[0075] (a) providing a fusion antigen comprising a PRRSV ORF 7 antigen moiety, a Pseudomonas exotoxin A binding domain I, a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II, and a carboxyl terminal moiety which permits retention of the antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane of an target cell; and

[0076] (b) inoculating the fusion antigen into the animal.

[0077] The following examples are given for the purpose of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present invention.

EXAMPLE 1 PRRSV ORF 7 Fusion Antigen

[0078] Antigenic moiety: The nucleoprotein PRRSV ORF 7 gene sequence was as shown in SEQ ID NO: 1 (Genbank Acc. No. AF035409, also shown in FIG. 2). The PRRSV ORF 7 gene was cloned with specific primers, which were the forward primer, 5′-GTC ACA TAT GCC AAA TAA CAA CGG CA-3′ (SEQ ID NO: 2) and the reversed primer, 5′-AAG AAT TCC AGC TCA TCC ATG CTG-3′ (SEQ ID NO: 3). An Aat II restriction enzyme recognition site was used for ligation and insertion to a Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II.

[0079]Pseudomonas exotoxin A binding domain I and Pseudomonas exotoxin A translocation domain II: pJH4 was used as a starting plasmid, which encodes the Pseudomonas exotoxin A (PE) full-length gene as described by Liao C. W. et al. (Liao C. W. et al., 1995. Applied Microbiol Biotechnol 43: 498-507). The Nde I-Eco R I DNA fragment of the full length of PE gene including domain I, II and III was constructed into pET15 derivative plasmid to form a pET-PE plasmid, which has one Eco R I and Xho I restriction enzymes recognition sites at the 3′-end of PE gene.

[0080] Fusion PE(ΔIII) with antigen gene: The 192 bp of Aat II-Eco R I fragment (named D fragment), which is a C terminal DNA fragment of PRRSV ORF 7 nucleoprotein gene, was obtained by RT-PCR and digested with Aat II and Eco R I restriction enzymes. The DNA fragments were then purified by gel electrophoresis and electro-elution. This D fragment and the 7.1 kb Aat II-Eco R I large fragment of pET-PE plasmid were ligated with T4 ligase to form a plasmid pET15-H6-PE(ΔIII)-PRRS7-D (7.31 kb). The plasmid comprised Eco R I and Xho I recognition sites at the end of the fusion gene. For increasing antigenicity, a DNA fragment with two tandem repeated D fragments connected with a bridge (g) was created (named DGD) according to recombinant technique. A 7.7-kb plasmid encoding PE(ΔIII)-PRRS7-DgD (as shown in FIG. 3) was then constructed by the ligation of the Sal I-DgD-Pst I fragment with a 6.0-kb Sal I-Pst I fragment of pET15-H6-PE(ΔIII)-PRRS7-D (named PE-DGD).

[0081] Carboxyl terminal moiety: Gene sequence coding KKDELRDELKDEL (SEQ ID NO: 4) was shown in SEQ ID NO: 5. A Sal I restriction enzyme recognition site at 5′ end and a stop codon TAA-TGA at 3′ end were also created (as shown in FIG. 4) and inserted into pET 23a plasmid digested with Nde I and Xho I to form pET23-3KDEL plasmid (as shown in FIG. 5). Synthesizing a polynucleotide encoding Sal I site-KKDELRDELKDEL-stop codon-Xho I-Eco R I sequence through serial polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The linear DNA of pET23 cutting with Sal I as PCR DNA template, a 168 bp fragment of first PCR product was generated by T7 promoter primer and a reversed primer 5′-TTC ATC TCT CAG TTC GTC TTT TTT GAG GTA GTC GAC GGA GCT CGA ATT CGG-3′ (SEQ ID NO: 6). This DNA product contained a Sal I recognition site. Then, the 168 bp of DNA as a second PCR template, one 206 bp fragment of a second PCR product was generated by the T7 promotor primer and a reversed primer 5′-A GAA TTC CTC GAG TCA TTA CAG TTC GTC TTT CAG TTC ATC TCT CAG TTC GTC-3′ (SEQ ID NO: 7). The final PCR DNA fragment containing Sal I, Xho I, and Eco R I sites was obtained. The PCR-amplified DNA fragments were cleaved with Sal I and Eco R I and then purified by gel electrophoresis and electro-elution. The purified Sal I-Eco R I DNA fragments were ligated to the 3.6 kb of Sal I-Eco R I DNA fragment obtained from pET23a. Finally, the plasmid pET23-Sal I-3KDEL, encoding SalI-KKDELRDELKDEL-stop codon-Xho I-Eco R I, was constructed.

[0082] Fusion antigen: The PRRSV ORF 7 fusion antigen was shown in FIG. 1.

[0083] Two DNA fragments were prepared. One 6.4-kb Pst I-Xho I fragment from plasmid pET15-H6-PE(ΔIII)-PRRS7-DgD (7.7 kb) containing PE(ΔIII) and antigen was obtained by digesting with Pst I and Xho I. Another 1.345-kb Pst I-Xho I fragment containing the carboxyl terminal moiety was also obtained by digesting plasmid ET23-3KDEL with Pst I and Sal I restriction enzymes. These two fragments were purified and then ligated by T4 ligase to form pET23-H6-PE(ΔIII)-DgD-3KDEL (named PE-DGDk; as shown in FIG. 5).

[0084] Protein expression and purification: E. coli BL21(DE3)pLys cells harboring plasmid for the expression of PE-DGD and PE-DGDk molecules were cultured in Luria Bertani broth containing 100 to 500 ppm of ampicillin at 37° C. When the culture attending early log phase, (A600=0.1 to 0.4), isopropyl-1-thio-β-D-galactopyranoside (IPTG) was added with a final concentration of 0.5 mM for induction. Cells were harvested after induction after 2 hours and immediately stored at −70° C. The fusion antigen was partially purified by urea extraction as described previously (Liao et al., 1995. Appl. Microbiol Biotechnol. 43: 498-507). Under denaturing conditions, the PE-DGD and PE-DGDk molecules containing 6×His tag were fully exposed for improving binding to the Ni-NTA matrix (Ni-NTA agarose; Qiagen® Lnc. Calif.). Therefore, the efficiency of the purification was maximized by reducing the potential for nonspecific binding. Batch purification of 6×His-tagged PE-DGD and PE-DGDk from E. coli under denaturing conditions was as described below:

[0085] adding 1 mL of the 50% Ni-TNA slurry to 4 mL lysate and mixing gently by shaking (e.g., 200 rpm) for 60 min at room temperature to form a lysate-resin mixture;

[0086] loading the lysate-resin mixture carefully into an empty column with the bottom cap still attached;

[0087] removing the bottom cap and collecting the flow-through solution;

[0088] washing twice with 4 mL wash buffer (100 mM NaH2PO4, 10 mM Tris-HCl, 8 M urea, pH 8.0);

[0089] eluting the protein 4 times with 0.5 ml pH 5.9 elution buffer (100 mM NaH2PO4, 10 mM Tris-HCl, 8M urea, pH 5.9) followed by 4 times with 0.5 ml pH 4.5 elution buffer buffer (100 mM NaH2PO4, 10 mM Tris-HCl, 8 M urea, pH 4.5); and

[0090] collecting fractions and subjecting to SDS-PAGE.

[0091] The results are shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. Quantitative analysis was performed using standard BSA protein. It showed that the fusion antigen was successfully constructed.

EXAMPLE 2 PRRSV ORF 7 Fusion Antigen as T-Cell Vaccine

[0092] The preparation of PRRSV ORF 7 fusion antigen used herein are described in Example 1.

[0093] Animals: Pigs were obtained from a herd periodically tested for PRRSV and known to be free of the virus by RT-PCR. Blood plasma fractions were collected. The RNA was extracted with a kit of NucleoSpin RNA II™ (Macherey-Nagel GmbH & Co. KG, Germany). RA1 solution of 350 μL and 3.5 μL of□β-mercaptoethanol were added into 100 μL plasma fractions. After reducing viscosity and clearing the lysate by filtration, the lysate was mixed with 350 μL of 70% ethanol. The RNA was adsorpted in Nucleospin™ RNA column by centrifugation and followed by a wash. Ninety-five μL DNase solution was applied into the column for the digestion of DNA. After repeating the wash and centrifugation several times, RNA was eluted by 60 μL Rnase-free water.

[0094] RT-PCR was performed by using Qiagen Onestep RT-PCR Kit™ (Qiagen® Inc. Calif.). A forward primer of 5′-CCA GCC AGT CAA TCA GCT GTG-3′ (SEQ ID NO: 8) and a reverse primer of 5′-GCG GAT CAG GCG CAC-3′ (SEQ ID NO: 9) were provided for synthesizing a 293-bp fragment. The detection limit of RT-PCR by agarose gel electrophoresis was determined around 10 of PRRS (TCID50/ml).

[0095] Blood leukocyte samples derived from five sows in a SPF farm were subjected to RT-PCR. It showed that the five sows were not infected with PRRSV. The results are shown in FIGS. 8 to 10.

[0096] Immunization: Six new-born piglets were selected and individually identified, weighed, and sexed from each of the three sows in a SPF farm. The piglets were randomly sub-grouped into three groups of vaccinated with PE-DGD, vaccinated with PE-DGDK and control based upon weight stratification, wherein each group comprised two piglets from each sow. In the vaccinated groups, intramuscular immunization was performed twice at the suckling stage. At the weaning stage (approximately 3 to 4 weeks of age), each group was removed and housed in an isolation room equipped with air conditioningand ventilation. The vaccinated group was immunized twice at ages 4 and 18 days by intramuscular injection with 2 mL of vaccine containing 1 mL of PE-DGD or PE-DGDK (containing 50 μg protein/dose) emulsified in 1 mL ISA206 (SEPPIC®, France), respectively. The control group was raised without immunization.

[0097] Challenge in pig model: Two weeks after the final vaccination, the pigs were intranasally challenged after intramuscular administration of 100 mg of Ketamine solution for sedation followed by intranasal instillation of 1 ml of 2% Lidocaine for cough-reflex suppression. Fresh 1 mL of MD-1 strain of PRRSV culture was used for challenge at doses of about 1×107 TCID50/mL. Five piglets were challenged in each group.

[0098] The blood leukocyte samples of the piglets were assayed with RT-PCR for detecting PRRSV two weeks after the second immunization and the results are shown in FIG. 12. No viremia occurred in any of the piglets before the PRRSV challenge. The blood leukocyte samples of the piglets were again assayed with RT-PCR for detecting PRRSV after 3, 7, and 14 days after the challenge and the results are shown in FIGS. 13, 14 and 15, respectively.

[0099] The results are also summarized in Table 1:

TABLE 1
The PRRSV viremea ratio of piglets post-challenged with
PRRSV
Days Control PE-DGDk PE-DGD
 3 3/5 3/5 3/5
 7 3/4 (dead 1*) 2/5 2/4 (dead 1*)
14 3/3 (dead 2*) 0/5 2/3 (dead 2*)

[0100] Necropsy was performed on all animals that had died and on all survivors at the end of the 2-week study. Macroscopic examination revealed pleuropneumonia in the lungs of five of the control pigs, four of the pigs in PE-DGD vaccinated, and two of the pigs in PE-DGDK group. More extensive lesions were observed in the control and PE-DGD vaccinated but not in PE-DGDK vaccinated group. It showed that the PRRSV ORF 7 fusion protein PE-DGDK can protect pigs from infection.

[0101] While embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, various modifications and improvements can be made by persons skilled in the art. It is intended that the present invention is not limited to the particular forms as illustrated, and that all the modifications not departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention are within the scope as defined in the appended claims.

0

SEQUENCE LISTING
<160> NUMBER OF SEQ ID NOS: 9
<210> SEQ ID NO 1
<211> LENGTH: 388
<212> TYPE: DNA
<213> ORGANISM: Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus
<300> PUBLICATION INFORMATION:
<308> DATABASE ACCESSION NUMBER: Genbank/AF035409
<309> DATABASE ENTRY DATE: 1998-12-29
<313> RELEVANT RESIDUES: (2898)..(3269)
<400> SEQUENCE: 1
catatgccaa ataacaacgg caagcagcag aagaaaaaga agggggacgg ccagccagtc 60
aatcagctgt gccaaatgct gggtaagatc atcgcccagc aaagtcagtc cagagttaag 120
ggaccgggaa ggaaaaataa gaagaaaaac ccggagaagc cccattttcc tctggcgact 180
gaagatgacg tcagacacca ctttaccccc agtgagcggc aattgtgttt gtcgtcaatc 240
cagactgcct ttaatcaagg cgctggaact tgcatcctgt cagattctgg gaggataagt 300
tacactgtgg agtttagttt gcctacgcat catactgtgc gcctgatccg cgttacagca 360
ccaccctcag cataatgggc tggaattc 388
<210> SEQ ID NO 2
<211> LENGTH: 26
<212> TYPE: DNA
<213> ORGANISM: ARTIFICIAL
<220> FEATURE:
<223> OTHER INFORMATION: a forward primer for synthesizing PRRSV ORF 7
<400> SEQUENCE: 2
gtcacatatg ccaaataaca acggca 26
<210> SEQ ID NO 3
<211> LENGTH: 24
<212> TYPE: DNA
<213> ORGANISM: ARTIFICIAL
<220> FEATURE:
<223> OTHER INFORMATION: a forward primer for synthesizing PRRSV ORF 7
<400> SEQUENCE: 3
aagaattcca gctcatccat gctg 24
<210> SEQ ID NO 4
<211> LENGTH: 13
<212> TYPE: PRT
<213> ORGANISM: ARTIFICIAL
<220> FEATURE:
<223> OTHER INFORMATION: a carboxyl terminal moiety sequence in
Example 1
<400> SEQUENCE: 4
Lys Lys Asp Glu Leu Arg Asp Glu Leu Lys Asp Glu Leu
1 5 10
<210> SEQ ID NO 5
<211> LENGTH: 39
<212> TYPE: DNA
<213> ORGANISM: ARTIFICIAL
<220> FEATURE:
<223> OTHER INFORMATION: a gene encoding the carboxyl terminal moiety in
Example 1
<400> SEQUENCE: 5
aaaaaagacg aactgagaga tgaactgaaa gacgaactg 39
<210> SEQ ID NO 6
<211> LENGTH: 51
<212> TYPE: DNA
<213> ORGANISM: ARTIFICIAL
<220> FEATURE:
<223> OTHER INFORMATION: a reversed primer for generating the first
polymerase chain reaction in Example 1
<400> SEQUENCE: 6
ttcatctctc agttcgtctt ttttgaggta gtcgacggag ctcgaattcg g 51
<210> SEQ ID NO 7
<211> LENGTH: 52
<212> TYPE: DNA
<213> ORGANISM: ARTIFICIAL
<220> FEATURE:
<223> OTHER INFORMATION: a reversed primer for generating the second
polymerase chain reaction in Example 1
<400> SEQUENCE: 7
agaattcctc gagtcattac agttcgtctt tcagttcatc tctcagttcg tc 52
<210> SEQ ID NO 8
<211> LENGTH: 21
<212> TYPE: DNA
<213> ORGANISM: ARTIFICIAL
<220> FEATURE:
<223> OTHER INFORMATION: a forward primer for RT-PCR detection of PRRSV
<400> SEQUENCE: 8
ccagccagtc aatcagctgt g 21
<210> SEQ ID NO 9
<211> LENGTH: 15
<212> TYPE: DNA
<213> ORGANISM: ARTIFICIAL
<220> FEATURE:
<223> OTHER INFORMATION: a reversed primer for RT-PCR detection PRRSV
<400> SEQUENCE: 9
gcggatcagg cgcac 15

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7314632 *Jul 10, 1998Jan 1, 2008The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Department Of Health And Human ServicesPseudomonas exotoxin A-like chimeric immunogens
US7378100Aug 18, 2005May 27, 2008Healthbanks Biotech Co., Ltd.Fusion protein for inhibiting cervical cancer
US7465455Jul 5, 2006Dec 16, 2008Healthbanks Biotech Co., Ltd.Lower immunotoxicity and having a high neutralization titer, veterinary medicine
US7572445Feb 24, 2006Aug 11, 2009Idexx Laboratories, Inc.Arterivirus (RNA enveloped virus); polypeptides with sensitivity and specificity; decreasing the incidence of false positives in a diagnostic assay
US7595054 *Nov 30, 2007Sep 29, 2009Healthbanks Biotech Co., Ltd.Fusion antigen used as vaccine
US8092809Dec 20, 2007Jan 10, 2012The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Department Of Health And Human ServicesPseudomonas exotoxin A-like chimeric immunogens
US8206950Nov 22, 2008Jun 26, 2012Animal Technology Institute TaiwanFusion antigen used as vaccine and method of making them
CN101691405BNov 27, 2008Oct 17, 2012生宝生物科技股份有限公司Fusion antigen uses as vaccine
EP1757615A1 *Aug 24, 2005Feb 28, 2007Healthbanks Biotech Co., Ltd.Fusion protein for inhibiting cervical cancer
EP1882478A1 *Jul 29, 2006Jan 30, 2008Healthbanks Biotech Co., Ltd.Fusion protein of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus as PRRS vaccine
EP2065392A2Nov 28, 2008Jun 3, 2009Healthbanks Biotech Co., Ltd.Fusion antigen uses as vaccine
WO2006091824A2 *Feb 24, 2006Aug 31, 2006Idexx Lab IncPeptides for detection of antibody to porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome virus
WO2006135428A2 *Oct 4, 2005Dec 21, 2006Randall J MrsnyMethods and compositions for inducing an immune response against multiple antigens
WO2009070929A1 *Dec 4, 2007Jun 11, 2009Schweitzer Co LtdA subunit vaccine for aquaculture
WO2009099777A2 *Jan 23, 2009Aug 13, 2009Healthbanks Usa IncChimeric hiv fusion proteins as vaccines
Classifications
U.S. Classification424/192.1, 435/69.3, 530/350, 536/23.7, 435/325, 435/320.1
International ClassificationA61K39/00, C07K14/21, C07K14/08
Cooperative ClassificationC07K14/005, C07K2319/70, C07K2319/04, C07K14/21, A61K2039/57, C12N2770/10022, A61K39/00
European ClassificationC07K14/005, C07K14/21
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